Monday, September 1, 2008

Mad Men 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance

Another moody, powerful, jingle-jangling episode of Mad Men tonight.

But first my obligatory movie celebration brought on by the show: Pete spoils The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance for Peggy by telling who shot him. Don't worry, I won't tell you, I'm not as much of a cad as Pete. But I will tell you it was great to hear that title again, not only of a great movie, but the even better song by Gene Pitney.

Peggy has a good comeback, after Pete insincerely apologizes. No problem, you saved me 50 cents, she says. (I'm pretty sure I paid a quarter to see the movie at the Allerton Theater in Bronx, but prices were a little higher in Manhattan and maybe in Brooklyn where Peggy lives.) Peggy doesn't do so well with the other men at Sterling Cooper, though, who shut her out of their planning of a bra campaign. It's based on the premise that all women want either to be Jackie Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe, and Peggy looks like neither. Joan - unknowingly building on Bobbi's good advice from last week - sets Peggy straight. Stop dressing like a little girl if you want to be taken seriously, Joan tells Peggy. And, lo and behold, Peggy gets taken very seriously after she takes that advice, and visits the Playtex guys and Sterling Cooper gang at a strip bar later that night.

That's about the lightest part of the episode. Duck behaves horribly to his dog, Don isn't too nice to Betty, and, for that matter, not too nice to Bobbi, either (Melinda McGraw - last seen in The Dark Knight, and two choice episodes of Journeyman - is giving her a great, sultry portrayal) ...

And in a wrenching last scene - again reminiscent of The Sopranos (high praise in my book) because you can't quite say just why it's wrenching - we see Don looking in the mirror and starting to come to terms with something.

But what? His past and present lives? His double-timing Betty? Is there something physically wrong with him?

Well, he did cough a little before that scene, but I'm thinking the crisis he's facing is all or mostly in his roiling mind...

See also: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12: The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men

And listen to my fabulous 20-minute interview last Fall with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

The Plot to Save Socrates

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"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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